How to Run RV AC Off Solar Power

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How to Run RV AC Off Solar Power


Kristin: Hi, welcome to etrailer.com. My name is Kristin. And today I'm going to answer the question, can I power my AC unit with solar power So solar is becoming really popular. A lot of people are adding them to their rigs, adding them to the RV setups because they're a nice green clean source of power, but they're not the best for powering your AC. These things use a lot of power. These things produce a little bit of power.

And so while they're really great for your setup when it comes to running these. Long story short, we don't recommend using your RV solar setup to power your AC. But if you're really curious how to do it, we're going to explain to you a little bit about how RV solar systems work, so what you're going to need to power this thing. If you're curious, we'll kind of give you a cost breakdown at the end and a recommended setup.So first things first, RV solar panels, don't just power the appliances directly. There's like a whole setup involved.

RV solar power, the power that comes out of it is DC power and you need to convert it to AC power. So not only do you need panels, but you need a battery bank to store them. You need an inverter to switch the power type to power the actual appliances that are in your RV, like your TV, your microwave, coffee maker, hairdryer, whatever else you use. So you need all of those other pieces in addition to just the solar panel and the appliance that you want to power. The other big thing to consider when you're thinking about setting this up is that your RV solar panels aren't just going to power your AC.

You need to have enough power from these things and in your battery banks to not only power your AC, but your other appliances because presumably when you're in your camper, you're going to be using other things.We're going to tell you why this is so expensive. So first things first, if you've got an AC like this, you're going to use about 100 amps per hour while this thing is on. So let's just say you use it for five hours a day. That's 500 amp hours of power that you need just for your RV AC. So when you come look at this solar panel over here, this 100 watt solar panel can produce about 30 amp hours a day.

So this thing needs 100 per hour to run. And this can only produce 30 amp hours a day. And that's like full sun, really great weather, kind of day. So when you think about how many of these you're going to need to actually get enough power to get 500 amps a day, that's going to be a lot. If you even have a rig big enough to plaster those all over it. So one, you're going to need a lot of these and two, next thing, that's really going to rack up your cost is your battery bank.So batteries are expensive and you have to keep in mind that you're not only going to be powering your RV AC unit, but you are going to be powering other things. So let's say your battery bank, you've got 500 amp hours of battery banks. That's huge, but that's not going to be enough to power this and other things that you want to power. So if you're going to do this, theoretically, we'd recommend a battery bank of 700 amp hours and that can be really expensive. So let's compare. So we're going to do like a little cost breakdown of what it would take to power this with solar. If you bought the full setup, a 700 amp power battery bank would cost you about $7,200, you would need about 1600 watts of solar. And that's going to run you about $5,200. Of course there are those other pieces that we talked about, like an inverter, and that's going to run you around $1,000.Those parts in and of itself brings your total to $13,400. So when you compare that to the best alternative, which was what we would recommend would be a generator. You can get a generator for 500 to 1,000 bucks, and that's going to be a really good generator. And then over the course of the year, you might use $300 worth of fuel to power your generator in your RC. So that brings your total for the generator anywhere from $800 of $1,300 a year. So when you compare $1,300 a year versus $13,000, just for your setup, you're probably going to end up going to the generator and that would be what we would recommend. So can you do it Yes. There are some people out there who are doing it. Do we recommend it No. It's probably not the most cost-effective setup for you. And if you have any other questions about how to set up RV solar power or RV air conditioners, just give us a call or ask for [email protected] Thanks..


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